This week’s contribution from the Blurb File…all material copyrighted and subject to change and all that jazz…don’t steal…
The train emitted its low, mournful banshee’s wail and Stefan tossed back another tumbler of eighty proof whiskey. The liquid fire burned down his throat to the pit of his empty stomach. All was quiet except for the normal sounds of the bayou. Alone in the silence, Stefan could hear the echoes of past violence through the drunken fog in his head. There would be no more attacks from his father. Patrick MacGreine was dead—a victim of his own alcoholism and Stefan’s fiery temper. It was ironic, really, that the strange talent which cursed Stefan had been the undoing of his most hated enemy.
The authorities hadn’t been able to understand why the fire hadn’t spread to the tar paper shack in which they lived. Stefan smiled to himself. When one controlled the flames themselves one could burn what one wished. Stefan felt no guilt. He had only been giving Patrick a preview of the existence for which he was headed.
It was almost time to leave. There was nothing and no one left to hold him here. Maman was dead; there was no future in this hellhole. Stefan finished the bottle of Jack Daniels and tossed it carelessly to the sagging porch floorboards where it shattered. He unfolded his long, athletic frame from the shabby chair in which he had been lounging. All his personal belongings—the few that had escaped Patrick’s drunken rages—were piled in the back of the ancient Jeep Wrangler Stefan had rescued from the junkyard and spent two years fixing up. He took one last solemn tour of the tiny cracker box of a house.
There were no momentos in the bare, dirty rooms. Nothing to remind him of happier times. There had been no happier times. Anything of value, monetary or sentimental, had been removed to the temporary storage of the Jeep’s backseat. No, Stefan held no regrets about leaving this place.
Never quickening his pace, Stefan went back outside, into the sultry September night. He climbed into the driver’s seat and looked his last upon the indigent dwelling. Then he closed his eyes and imagined a spark to light the spilled whiskey on the porch. A few moments later, he heard the crackle of infant flames licking at the dry wood. With a little more effort, Stefan raised the blaze into adolescence.
He opened his eyes and watched for a few moments as the fire spread rapidly up the walls to the roof. Stefan removed his influence and allowed Nature to take its course. By the time he reached the end of the rutted path that was his driveway, the miserable shack was consumed by an adult inferno.
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I’d love to see what you do with that guy. What kind of heroine would you pair with him? He seems pretty comfortable with his power. Does he stay that way? Does he learn to use his power for good, or to live without using it, or what? Obviously I particularly like this one.
great story potential here. his rage could make controling such power difficult even with the best of intentions. it is hard to tell from this whether his intentions still lean to the noble side. i mean, is it only his father he is unable to have empathy for? or has the damage done to him by his father made him incapable of empathy? which would then make it very difficult for him not to slip over to the dark side. if he is still capable of empathy it would be because someone in his past was a powerful teacher of empathy which can only be taught by emotional reciprocity, not by lectures.
hope that didn’t sound like i was lecturing you about your story. this is just the way my mind always takes off when i encounter a character that intrigues me.
ah, the possibilities.
That was great! I loved how he “matured” the flame – very cool. I also loved his nonchalance about violence and his life – things are very matter-of-fact with him. I hope we get to see more of him 🙂
When I first read it I was wondering how you could “control” a fire but voila! Now I know!
Agree with Bri…the maturing is a nice touch.
I also liked his voice and the way he accepted his life. I’ll be interested to see where he goes 🙂
Very interesting, and very cool. Definitely want to see where you go with this. Have a great weekend 🙂